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Discussion Starter #1
It's generally accepted that INFPs tend to take criticism very personally, and we have a tendency to shut it out or at the very least initially disagree before thinking it over and evaluating it's worth. At least in my experience and I think many others, whenever my negative traits are discussed I feel very offended, hurt, or upset.

But it's also true that we tend to have low self-esteem and be overly self-critical, and my (And maybe your?) negative tendencies are those related to low self-worth. For being so "sensitive" and quick to pain, INFPs are ironically not very compassionate with themselves.

So why do we so readily accept criticism from ourselves while shutting out the criticism of others? Is it because we're already so critical of ourselves, that we think any more criticism might push us over the edge? But that doesn't seem right. I need someone to help me puzzle this out.
 

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So why do we so readily accept criticism from ourselves while shutting out the criticism of others? Is it because we're already so critical of ourselves, that we think any more criticism might push us over the edge? But that doesn't seem right. I need someone to help me puzzle this out.
In my experience, the criticism of others doesn't accumulate with my own criticism of myself.

I think it's just the nature of introverted F: we evaluate not according to commonly agreed standards, we evaluate according to our own standards. And since we don't really 'publicize' these standards, we ask ourselves: "how can an outsider judge me if they don't know what I think is important to be judged by?"

I think that's why we have difficulties accepting the criticism on our personality from others, regardless whether they're right or wrong. Does that sound right?
 

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I think about this every day.

I DO have a low self-esteem, I'll admit, and I also tend to take criticism personally. (that's not to say that I don't try to think of how they mean it, it's just-- well that's another whole topic. ;P)

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I kind of think I have to shut out other criticism, for the reason you said. I know full well how unfair my life has been, and that's not being self-centered. I am actually aware of that, and it is backed up from what my friends and my own mom have said. I feel like I need to find confidence in myself before I can accept even more criticism. I feel so damaged even when I try so hard not to take things personally, that it tends to stress me out.

I block out the criticism, but maybe that is what is keeping me from strengthening my self-esteem? Doesn't criticism help me get further in life, and in turn would make me happy? I honestly have no clue. I have been in a state of pretty intense confusion (by my standards) for a good five years.

I know this post (most likely) didn't help to answer the thread, but I feel like I needed to get that out there.
 

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I give an example from my experience. I show my project for people and they give me critique for it. In my mind, I rationally accept it. But what is happening in the wild ocean of feelings, I'm feeling like being attacked towards my persona. It's because I identify my work with myself.

The harshest critic is however, always inside your own head.
 

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I already am pretty critical of myself internally, and imagine a wide spectrum of positive and negative comments that could be perceived from judgement. To hear it from someone else either a. reinforces positive thinking (of course, if its positive feedback.) or b. validates my fears and makes me focus on the negative.

I wouldn't call it a result of low self-esteem, I just see it as an amplification of my psyche. Since I'm so in touch with my thoughts, I take ALL feedback extra personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my experience, the criticism of others doesn't accumulate with my own criticism of myself.

I think it's just the nature of introverted F: we evaluate not according to commonly agreed standards, we evaluate according to our own standards. And since we don't really 'publicize' these standards, we ask ourselves: "how can an outsider judge me if they don't know what I think is important to be judged by?"

I think that's why we have difficulties accepting the criticism on our personality from others, regardless whether they're right or wrong. Does that sound right?
Yes, I think I agree. I had an inclination that it wasn't just because of our F, but your explanation fits and makes the most sense.
 

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Its not just an "INFP" issue. I see it in "INTFs" Whatever it is. Mainly the feeling sensing people. But that's not always the case. People that experience deep-seeded aversions towards criticism of any kind, are insecure in some way. It's also relative to a potential personality disorder. In extreme cases, let's think of people who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, they do not wish to know or hear or even be made aware of any external criticism. That would be a major blow to their ego.

I am open to criticism. Of all kinds. It doesn't mean I necessarily agree. But I won't ignore, shut that person out. People that do this, seem to take high offense and are eerily hypersensitive to criticism that can aid them, not the opposite. They are insecure, narrow-minded, and rigid. Their way or the highway. They operate on a one-train basis. Its nothing to take personally on the recipients part. Feel pity towards these individuals. How can you expect to grow when you stay stuck in ignorance?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I block out the criticism, but maybe that is what is keeping me from strengthening my self-esteem? Doesn't criticism help me get further in life, and in turn would make me happy? I honestly have no clue. I have been in a state of pretty intense confusion (by my standards) for a good five years.

I know this post (most likely) didn't help to answer the thread, but I feel like I needed to get that out there.
Yes, I think that blocking out criticism and not evaluating it does prevent us from strengthening our self-esteem. Wikipedia has an especially astute definition (I think) that relates to unconditionally loving ourselves even in acknowledgement of our faults:

"A person with a healthy self-esteem accepts and loves himself/herself unconditionally, acknowledging both virtues and faults in the self, and yet, in spite of everything, being able to continue to live loving her/himself."

Thank you for posting, as I can very much relate to having been where you are now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Its not just an "INFP" issue. I see it in "INTFs" Whatever it is. Mainly the feeling sensing people. But that's not always the case. People that experience deep-seeded aversions towards criticism of any kind, are insecure in some way. It's also relative to a potential personality disorder. In extreme cases, let's think of people who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, they do not wish to know or hear or even be made aware of any external criticism. That would be a major blow to their ego.

I am open to criticism. Of all kinds. It doesn't mean I necessarily agree. But I won't ignore, shut that person out. People that do this, seem to take high offense and are eerily hypersensitive to criticism that can aid them, not the opposite. They are insecure, narrow-minded, and rigid. Their way or the highway. They operate on a one-train basis. Its nothing to take personally on the recipients part. Feel pity towards these individuals. How can you expect to grow when you stay stuck in ignorance?
It's wonderful that you're open to criticism of all kinds, as other types do struggle with this. And it's reasonable to call them insecure, narrow-minded, etc. I agree that people who aren't open to constructive criticism can exhibit these traits, and I agree that you should pity them. Please continue to be compassionate and understanding to those not blessed with the self-awareness and self-esteem that allows you to accept criticism as you do.
 

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I am open to criticism. Of all kinds. It doesn't mean I necessarily agree. But I won't ignore, shut that person out. People that do this, seem to take high offense and are eerily hypersensitive to criticism that can aid them, not the opposite. They are insecure, narrow-minded, and rigid. Their way or the highway. They operate on a one-train basis. Its nothing to take personally on the recipients part. Feel pity towards these individuals. How can you expect to grow when you stay stuck in ignorance?
Te dom vs Fi dom, me thinks. I think INFP's may shut out the criticism, but not necessarily shut out the person who gave the criticism. I don't think it's always insecurity/narrow-mindedness/rigidness for each and every case.

Out of curiosity, you have Fi as inferior, what's that like for you?
 

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Te dom vs Fi dom, me thinks. I think INFP's may shut out the criticism, but not necessarily shut out the person who gave the criticism. I don't think it's always insecurity/narrow-mindedness/rigidness for each and every case.

Out of curiosity, you have Fi as inferior, what's that like for you?
*Hm I recall being Fi dominant actually. I'm an INTJ

*I don't like emotions, mine to be exact. I am learning to be tolerant of mine. I am not tolerant of my emotions, mainly negative (sadness, anger, depression, frustration, stress, anxiety etc.) therefore I am not tolerant of it in others. I am the last person you want to cry, have a meltdown around. Because I am the last person that will comfort you. I will be the first to leave the room. I find crying to be unproductive and annoying. A common phrase is "Why are you crying? What are they doing for you? Stop crying." I just shut down completely. I cannot be around significantly emotive people for sustained periods of time. Let alone be in any intellectual conversations with them - because they always seem to take an intellectual observation as a person attack, in come ad hominem, and straw man arguments, defeating the entire discussion.

I don't like to feel my emotions. I'm highly content operating on a detached, intellectual level on a daily basis. There comes the typical problems - being accused of being a sociopath, insensitive etc. It doesn't bother me, but people tell me this - I think feeling gets in the way of a lot of productivity in ones life.*

I operate on a clean-cut logical basis. I'm working towards being more "softer". Whatever that is.*
 

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*Hm I recall being Fi dominant actually. I'm an INTJ

*I don't like emotions, mine to be exact. I am learning to be tolerant of mine. I am not tolerant of my emotions, mainly negative (sadness, anger, depression, frustration, stress, anxiety etc.) therefore I am not tolerant of it in others. I am the last person you want to cry, have a meltdown around. Because I am the last person that will comfort you. I will be the first to leave the room. I find crying to be unproductive and annoying. A common phrase is "Why are you crying? What are they doing for you? Stop crying." I just shut down completely. I cannot be around significantly emotive people for sustained periods of time. Let alone be in any intellectual conversations with them - because they always seem to take an intellectual observation as a person attack, in come ad hominem, and straw man arguments, defeating the entire discussion.

I don't like to feel my emotions. I'm highly content operating on a detached, intellectual level on a daily basis. There comes the typical problems - being accused of being a sociopath, insensitive etc. It doesn't bother me, but people tell me this - I think feeling gets in the way of a lot of productivity in ones life.*

I operate on a clean-cut logical basis. I'm working towards being more "softer". Whatever that is.*
Hm, that's interesting :O INTJ's function order is: Te, Ni, Se, Fi. I think everything in your post seems to confirm this order... except you saying you're Fi dominant.
 

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I'm fairly certain I am either te or fi dominant.
 

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Criticism? I welcome it with open arms. :crazy:

I tend to get compliments, but I believe critiques are essential to personal progress whereas compliments are not as helpful. I try to encourage people to share their criticisms of myself and my work, but that hasn't done a lot for me. :frustrating: It might be because I meticulously process critiques, and if they don't make sense to me or I don't see it, I might seem harsh in responding even if I'm only trying to probe more into the statements a person has made to get a better grasp of what they're saying.

Eh, I don't know. :unsure: But I like to hear criticisms. (Acerbic comments might summon anxiety and a tad bit of fear, but it's not like I can't take and evaluate it.)
 

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My reaction completely depends on whether or not I believe it is deserved.
I wonder, do you sometimes experience a different initial and secondary reaction?
 

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Its not just an "INFP" issue. I see it in "INTFs" Whatever it is. Mainly the feeling sensing people. But that's not always the case. People that experience deep-seeded aversions towards criticism of any kind, are insecure in some way. It's also relative to a potential personality disorder. In extreme cases, let's think of people who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, they do not wish to know or hear or even be made aware of any external criticism. That would be a major blow to their ego.

I am open to criticism. Of all kinds. It doesn't mean I necessarily agree. But I won't ignore, shut that person out. People that do this, seem to take high offense and are eerily hypersensitive to criticism that can aid them, not the opposite. They are insecure, narrow-minded, and rigid. Their way or the highway. They operate on a one-train basis. Its nothing to take personally on the recipients part. Feel pity towards these individuals. How can you expect to grow when you stay stuck in ignorance?
YES! I entirely agree with this post.

I've been known to invite constructive criticism from others just for the sake of self-exploration. When someone has negative feelings towards me i'd much prefer to sit and have an open conversation with them about how they're feeling than for them to bottle things up or act out their emotions in some other way. I enjoy confrontation, especially honest, mature discussions where both parties can voice their feelings about each other without fear of incrimination.

I'm not sure that I'm an INFP, though. To be honest, I have no idea what type I am. All I know is that I enjoy experiencing every single one of my emotions - the good and the bad - because ultimately I know I can handle my emotions well. I've also found that when people are open to giving and receiving criticism, stronger emotional bonds are formed between the parties. I will always choose honesty, common sense and the chance to understand myself and others on a deeper level over the fear of getting my little heart broken.

:ninja:
 

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I wonder, do you sometimes experience a different initial and secondary reaction?
Hmm, not really unless my reaction got a bad reaction and then I may analyze my reaction to see if it was unfair or immature.

To think about this more, crictism in different modes gets different reactions too.

-Teachers, authorities like police, counelors, advisors, coaches, teachers, their criticims never offends me.
-Cricitism from someone I believe has superior understanding, perception, or judgement than me never offends me. It might make me feel kind of sheepish, but normally I feel that I am lucky they have shared their opinion with me.
-Close friends can get either reaction depending on what was said, context, and how well they know what they are talking about. Most of the time I am cool with it. For some reason, if like my ESFJ friend gives me contructive criticism, I am always ok with it, because she's always right. My enfp friend gives me constructive criticism, I feel like doesn't really understand me or the situation but thinks she knows best anyways and that makes me defensive and want to explain myself.
-Strangers almost always piss me off. Even if they are somewhat right it pisses me off they felt it was their place to say anything, and besides, they usually are not right.
-Romantic relations I feel might be more loaded which is unfortunate and I'll have to work on that.

Basically I think it all comes down to a need to be both understood and respected. Its fine if someone can't do that but then I really don't think they have any place to tell me how to be or what to do. obviously that does not apply with authority figures seeing as it's my job to respect them if they deserve it and hide it if I don't (haha) and make them respect me if i can.
 
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